When someone has died

Please remember that we are here to offer advice, information and support in any way we can, regardless of being chosen to conduct the funeral. Call us for more information.

Tel: 01273 813333

What to do when a death occurs at home

  • When someone dies at home you should contact the person’s GP or the doctor on duty if they have been ill.  They may attend and verify that death has occurred. The doctor will confirm if they are able to issue a Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death (MCCD) which is required to register the death. If the community nurses have been supporting you, they may also be able to confirm that the death has occurred, but unlike the doctor they will not be able to issue a certificate. In both instances, it is best to check with the doctor’s surgery if the certificate has been completed and if it has been emailed to the registry office.

    Once the death has officially been confirmed, we are permitted to bring the person into our care, should you so wish. We are available at all times of the day and night, every day of the year.

  • If the doctor cannot issue the certificate, or the death was very sudden or unexplained then the case will often be referred to the Coroner for investigation – in time, they will advise you when and how to register. The coroner’s officer will ask you which funeral director you would like to appoint and should you appoint us, it is helpful to let us know to expect contact from them. It is usually possible for us to hold a provisional date and discuss the arrangements for the funeral whilst a conclusion is being drawn.

What to do when a death occurs in professional care

  • In a Nursing or Residential Home, the above procedure is likely to have been co-ordinated by the Manager, Matron or Warden who will advise you who is completing the certificate.

    In a hospital, the bereavement officers will offer you emotional support and practical advice about what to do next.  They will inform you where the nearest Registry Office is, so that you can register the death and will usually help you make an appointment there.

    Once you have called us, we will liaise with the Hospital or Care Home to make the necessary arrangements to bring the person into our care.

  • RSCH Bereavement Office
    01273 696955

    PRH Bereavement Office
    01444 441881

    EDGH Bereavement Office
    01323 414995


  • It is not necessary for you to register the death before making the funeral arrangements.

    Once the MCCD (detailed above) has been electronically sent to the registration office by the surgery or bereavement office they should confirm with you that it has been sent. Once they have only then should you contact the registry office closest to the place where the person died, rather than where they lived. You should register the death within 5 days of the certificate being received by the registry office.

    It is advisable to check their opening hours as you will be required to make a face to face appointment, either by telephone or online. The registrars will then check that you are a qualified informant and they are in receipt of the MCCD.

    If you can find the birth or marriage certificates, take those too. The registrar will ask you for the person’s maiden name, date and place of birth, last occupation and that of their spouse, the date of birth of any surviving partner and whether they were in receipt of a state pension or other public funds.

    In return, the registrar will issue formal copies of the death certificate, suitable for banks, insurance companies etc. They will also issue a green certificate (required for burial or cremation) which they will send to us electronically in order for the funeral to take place.

  • Lewes Registration Office
    0345 60 80 198

    Brighton Registration Office
    01273 292016

    Haywards Heath Registration Office
    01243 642122

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